It is absolutely no secret that Honda have put everything they have into Marc Marquez, it has been said for a long while that it will bite them one day and it well and truly has.
If you type into Google images ‘MotoGP’, what is the first image you see? It is Marc Marquez, the rider who has dominated the series since his arrival in 2013. Is this a surprise? Absolutely not. Have Honda pulled an absolute blinder replacing Casey Stoner with Marc Marquez? C’mon… you know the answer to that.
Marc Marquez has won every MotoGP title between 2013-2019 apart from 2015 as well as the constructor and team titles in 2017, 2018 and 2019 on a Repsol Honda, the most famous motorbike livery in the world. If you go to any 125cc riders meet up, you can bet you will see a CBR125 in the Repsol colours. Marquez has done wonders for Honda, this was reflected in a record-breaking 4-year deal from 2021 – 2024 reportedly worth €100m.
Honda have built a bike around Marquez and his famous loose riding style, he rides the bike on its absolute limit and does this very well. The issue is that no-one else can ride it, Honda signed five-time champion Jorge Lorenzo for the 2019 and 2020 seasons, this was a disaster for Lorenzo which resulted in retirement for the Spaniard, he scored 28 points all season and finished in 19th overall in the standings, leaving Marc Marquez to do the triple all by himself. For anyone looking into Honda, this is an awful situation when you have one rider doing all the work, for Honda, this was perfect.
Fast forward to 2020, Marc Marquez has injured himself in the opening MotoGP round which has ruined Honda internally, their hopes of another title are up in the air and they have no other riders who can ride their bike to the level of Marquez to gain Honda any valuable championship points. At the Brno round, Repsol Honda did something no one expected and lined up on the grid in dead last and second to last, something you absolutely would not expect to see.
In the Austrian round, Takaaki Nakagami was the fastest Honda, finishing the race in sixth on a 2019 RC213V, the other three Honda’s struggled majorly with Alex Marquez finishing in 14th ahead of Cal Crutchlow in 15th and Stefan Bradl in a low 17th place.
If you take a look elsewhere like Yamaha, famous for their ‘user-friendly’ bike, they are leading the championship and have taken a podium every round this season with all four of their riders standing on the podium, Honda however have not stood on the podium once. Honda needs to re-evaluate their plans, this is one of the reasons why Pol Espargaro has been signed.
Featured image – www.motogp.com